Why Is My Apple Watch Touch Screen Not Working? How to Fix The Problem

Sensitivity or a hardware fault can be to blame

If your Apple Watch touch screen won't respond, it's difficult to do mostly anything with your Apple Watch. Fortunately, there are a number of steps to take to try to fix the issue, providing you know what to try. Here's how to get your Apple Watch touch screen working properly again, and troubleshooting advice on how to pinpoint the issue.

Why Is My Apple Watch Not Responding to Touch?

If your Apple Watch won't respond to your touch, here's what to try before resorting to sending it off for repair.

  1. Your fingers are dirty or covered. If you're wearing gloves or your fingers are covered in some other way, your Apple Watch might not be able to recognize your touch. Check that your fingers are clean and not obscured in any way before trying again. 

  2. The Apple Watch screen is dirty. If your Apple Watch screen is oily, dirty or wet, this can also affect its responsiveness. Use a cloth to clean the screen gently. 

  3. A screen protector is affecting use. If you've applied a new screen protector to your Apple Watch, it may not be fitted correctly. Re-apply it and see if the issue is solved. 

  4. Your Apple Watch has frozen. If your Apple Watch has frozen, it won't be able to respond to your touch. Press and hold the Digital Crown and side button until you see the Apple logo to force a restart. 

How Do I Fix an Unresponsive Apple Watch Screen?

If your Apple Watch continues to be unresponsive even after trying the above fixes and checks, there are other methods for fixing an unresponsive Apple Watch. Try these solutions.

Not all of these tips will apply to your situation. If you come across one that isn't relevant to your needs, skip to the next tip.

  1. Force-restart the watch. It's worth mentioning twice. Restarting your watch fixes the majority of problems. Hold down the Digital Crown and side button for about 10 seconds until the Apple logo appears. 

  2. Close certain apps on the Apple Watch. If the issue seems to be restricted to one app, avoid using it or find an alternative. There may be an issue with the app rather than your Apple Watch. 

  3. Update your Apple Watch. If your Apple Watch hasn't been updated in a while, it can help to update watchOS. Do this via the Watch app on your iPhone to see if it corrects the issue.

  4. Resync your Apple Watch. Try unpairing your Apple Watch from your iPhone then repairing it again. You'll need to restore it from a backup so it can be time-consuming but can fix screen issues. Alternatively, try resetting it entirely and avoid restoring the backup. If there's a problem with the backup, you'll only replicate the earlier issue.

  5. Contact Apple Support. If none of these fixes have worked, contact Apple Support. There may be a hardware issue with your touchscreen so it'll need to be sent away for repair. 

FAQ
  • How do I factory reset an Apple Watch if the touch screen isn't working?

    Use your iPhone to unpair your Apple Watch. This step also erases the watch and restores it to factory settings. To reset your Apple Watch with your iPhone, open the Watch app and select the device from My Watch. Then tap the information icon > Unpair Apple Watch.

  • How do I calibrate the touch screen on an Apple Watch?

    If you experience issues with how your Apple Watch's touchscreen responds to touch inputs, you can adjust the sensitivity. On your watch, go to Settings > Accessibility > Touch Accommodations. From there, you can choose to personalize the touch screen's response to touches based on a specific duration or disable multiple touches.

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